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Jok Madut Jok

Jok Madut Jok

Photo courtesy of: USIP

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South Sudanese official to lecture on birth of new African nation


After a half century of brutal civil war between north and south in the Republic of Sudan, a referendum tallied this week overwhelmingly supports the creation of the Republic of South Sudan. Jok Madut Jok, a newly appointed South Sudanese official, will speak on the subject at Ohio University on Friday.

The people of the Republic of Sudan cast their votes in January, and this week's final count shows that close to 99 percent support the secession of South Sudan. The world's newest nation will be formalized this summer and called the Republic of South Sudan, according to members of a steering committee in the regional capital.

Jok will lecture on Africa's newest nation at the International Studies Forum in Walter Hall 145 at 3 p.m. Jok will also appear on "NewsWatch" on WOUB-TV at 5:30 p.m.

“The half-century struggle was largely ignored by the world, so when a new country is created we have the possibility of thinking in a hopeful way,” said Director of African Studies Steve Howard, who invited Jok to speak. “What does a country do to avoid the mistakes of its neighbors? We'd probably learn a lot if we considered it.”

Jok was born and raised in Sudan, and after studying in Egypt and the United States, he became a humanitarian aid worker. Jok recently returned to Sudan to observe and participate in the historic referendum.

There, he was appointed Undersecretary in the Government of Southern Sudan's Ministry of Culture and Heritage.

Jok is an associate professor of history at Loyola Marymount University and a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute for Peace. As a scholar, he has authored three publications about Sudan. As a consultant to aid agencies, he focused on the issues of violence against women and post-war reconstruction.

“We have many students here interested in the fate of the non-Western world,” Howard said. “This is a critical example of a country on the maternal bed being born, and we all have the opportunity to hear from an eyewitness on Friday.”